How To Get To Bwindi National Park by Fly-in Or Driving Safari
How To Get To Bwindi National Park by Fly-in Or Driving Safari, The road distance from Kampala to Bwindi is about 530 km driving for about 8 to 9 hours. You can make stops like at the Equator to stand in both sides of the earth at the same time and take photographs or Mpambire royal drum village.
Another stop on the road can be for a safari In Lake Mburo National Park but you need to overnight here. This park is enroute to all National Parks in the western side of Uganda.
By air, daily domestic flights depart Kajjansi Airstrip or Entebbe Airport to Kihihi Airstrip. You need to reserve a seat in advance and hire a transfer vehicle too
Bwindi Impenetrable national park can now be accessed by road (driving safaris) or by flying (fly in safaris). Each side of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has an airstrip where small flights can land. In the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, clients can land at Kisoro Airstrip and then take a two and half hour drive to Nkuringo or Rushaga
If tracking gorillas in the eastern or northern parts of Bwindi Impenetrable National park. That is Ruhija and Buhoma sides respectively, tourists can fly from Entebbe to Kihihi or Kayonza Airstrip. From Kayonza, the drive time to Buhoma is about 45 minutes while it might take up to two hours drive from Kihihi Airstrip to Buhoma. If you are trekking gorillas in the Eastern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Ruhija, then about three hours should be enough
If you choose driving, then it takes about eight to nine hours from Kampala to Buhoma or Ruhija and about nine two ten hours from Kampala to Nkuringo or Rushaga. Driving from Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable National park is very scenic and lots of things to see en route. These include stops at the equator crossing, royal drum makes, spotting the ankole long horned cattle being grazed by the him pastoral group and of course the rolling hills on kigezi region.
From Entebbe to any side of the park might take up to one hour flight or more depending on connections made. Fly Uganda and Aerolink Uganda are the two main operators of flight to Bwindi Impenetrable national Park among other National park. Aerolink operates two daily scheduled flights from Entebbe to Kihihi both in the morning and afternoon sometimes connecting to other national parks. The first flight departs Entebbe at 7:30 and arrives at Kihihi at 9:45 am while the afternoon flight departs Entebbe and arrives Kihihi an hour later.
Fly Uganda operates charters that can land in Kayonza which is closer to Buhoma side of Bwindi Impenetrable national park or Kihihi Airstrip depending on the number of clients on board. For bigger crafts, they land in Kihihi Airstrip. They also operate a per seat rate with a minimum of two people in order to cater for those with low budget and can not charter their own craft
Kisoro airstrip is most accessible in the morning due to strong winds and influence of volcanic hills in the region
If you have less time and want to do gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable national park, you could try flying but should you have enough time and want to know about Uganda and its country side, then try out driving as it will be more rewarding
Which Routes To Use And Get To Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
This is the most direct route from Kampala to Buhoma side of Bwindi. The distance you travel is about 390 km then continue by a murram road for 82 km. drive time is 8 hours
From Kabale to Ruhija to Buhoma segment of this route you drive for 95 kilometers on a murram road lasting 3 hours to 4 hours. This road is still under construction so in case it’s a rainy period only a 4×4 wheeler can get you through.
Kampala to Kabale to Nkuringo which is the southern sector of Bwindi impenetrable National park is about 105 kilometers from Kabale to Nkuringo area. You need four hours to cover this distance of a winding road.
Kisoro town is about 80 kilometers from Kabale so you can opt to spend a night in this town and later proceed for 35 kilometers for about an hour and thirty minutes to Nkuringo area for briefing early morning.
Driving from Kampala to Kabale, you use a tarmac road for about 414 km for close to 6 hours. Connect with a murram road from Kabale to Kanungu to Kanyantorogo for about 150 km for close to 5 hours. This route has impassable roads sometimes so you need a 4×4 wheeler.
Queen Elizabeth National Park to Buhoma area of Bwindi impenetrable National Park
In case you have a game safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park and have to proceed to Buhoma sector of Bwindi Park, you need to drive for 160 m from Mweya the park’s main administrative area.
In case you overnight in Ishasha sector in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, expect to drive for about 64km. look into the fig trees for a possibility of spotting the tree climbing lions
Daily domestic scheduled flights depart Entebbe airport or Kajjansi Air strip to Kihihi or Kisoro Airstrip. The flights operate in the morning and Afternoon and the maximum number of people to fly with is 2 people.
Charter flights can be booked from Kajjansi Air strip or Entebbe Airport in case you want a private gorilla trekking experience. You must do advance booking so that CAA is advise about you being in air during that time in advance and other clearances are done in time.
How To Book Fly In Gorilla trekking Safari ( Requirements)
Have a valid passport
Your full names as per your passport
Hand luggage allowance is 10 kg
At encounter Africa Safaris, we organize fly-in gorilla trekking safaris. We book seats for our clients but we need the above details from you. Advance booking is required because seats get sold out especially in the peaks seasons that is June to September and December to January.
Since the planes land at the airstrip, you need to book a transfer vehicle to your lodge. When the plane lands in Kihihi, you need about two hours to get to Buhoma. The airstrip has no stand by cabs but advance arrangements are done by our safari consultant upon request to pick you on arrival.
What To Do On The way To Gorilla trekking In Bwindi impenetrable National park
Visit Mpambire Drum Village
This local royal drum making village dates back in the ancient times and those operating it inherited the world from there ancestors. Here drums are crafted from animal skin and curved from tree logs. Even the special royal drums played for the King (Kabaka) are manufactures from here. Different local drums of all sizes from small to the biggest of all musical sounds are locally designed and tuned from here.
Equator at Kayabwe
A circular concrete where the Equator is believed to pass is places by the road side. You can stop for a break here, take photos standing on both the northern and southern hemisphere and perform the water experiment. The place has a number of souvenir shops where you can buy some crafts to take home.
Lake Mburo National Park
When driving to or from Bwindi impenetrable National park, you may go through lake Mburo national Park for a short game drive. You may get to see elands, impalas, water bucks, reed bucks, Uganda kobs, giraffes, herds of buffaloes, elephants and others. You must pay park entrance too if you are to be allowed into the park even if you are just going through.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Before arriving Bwindi impenetrable National park you may stop over for a night or two in queen Elizabeth National park. here you may go for an early morning game drive through different tracks. The crater lakes track takes you to a beautiful display of crater lakes at the floor of the rift valley. The most outstanding is Lake Nyamunuka with a putrid smell because of the animals that die from it and that’s why its called the animal hospital.
The Kasenyi grassland track is a common hung out pint for lions that prey on the Uganda kobs that also love spending the day here. Chances of a struggle when catching a prey are likely to happen here.
Lake Katwe the most ancient industry of Uganda is found here. The miners still use the ancient methods of harvesting salt with there bare hands. The salt is piled in pans to dry and buyers collect it from here to the different markets throughout the country.
During the launch trip on Kazinga channel you get to see most outstanding beauties of the parks from the rift valley floor. The snowcapped top of Rwenzori ranges may beautifully come into view on a clear day. The banks of the channel are occasionally visited by thirsty animals like lions, herds of buffaloes, elephants, leopards, water bucks, bush bucks and others. They come to quench thirst and take a bath here. Flocks of birds are usual visitors to the shore including foreign migrants.
Departing Queen Elizabeth National park to Bwindi impenetrable National park may be through Ishasha sector buy you must know the condition of the bridge because it may be washed away by heavy rains.
Kibale National park
If you are taking on gorilla trekking and chimpanzee trekking during your Africa safari, Kibale National park is the ideal destination to choose. The park has the highest chance of spotting a big number of chimpanzees in the wild even during the severe rain seasons when they feed from the treetops. Driving through Mubende to Fort Portal is the best route to take
Although this tropical forest has other attractions, Chimpanzee trekking is its boating point. The park has the largest number of habituated mountain gorillas in East Africa and the largest number of different primate species in Africa
You need a chimpanzee trekking permit that currently costs $300 per person. You can choose to do morning or afternoon chimpanzee trekking. Only 6 people are allowed to visit a particular chimpanzee community per session. Only one hours is allowed to view the chimpanzees when you locate them. Ensure you follow all the rules of chimpanzee trekking as explained by the warden during briefing. The main briefing point for this park is at Kanyanchu visitor center and a secondary center at Sebitori.
After chimpanzee trekking you can connect for Bwindi Impenetrable National park. The drive may take about 6 hours before arriving Buhoma area.
Uganda Wildlife Education Center
In case you arrive in Uganda before the starting date for your gorilla trekking safari to Bwindi Impenetrable national park, you can do some activities in Entebbe.
The Uganda Wildlife Education center the former Entebbe Zoo is the summary of almost all Uganda wild animals. They are kept in exhibits with environment similar to where they live in the wild. The center has lion, cheetahs, elephants, Rhinos, Zebras, Giraffes, vipers, chimpanzees, different bird species including the rare shoe bill and others you can take a guided tour in the center to learn more about these animals and which park they are commonly found in Uganda.
Ngamba chimpanzee Sanctuary
If you have limited time on your gorilla trekking safari but wish to see the chimpanzees too exclusively, Ngamba Island is the best choice to make. This Islands is part of the Koome Islands in Lake Victoria. It’s the rescue home for chimpanzees that cannot return to there wild communities. The chimpanzees here have been saved from poachers, snares, circus, those abandoned and other cases.
You take part in feeding the chimpanzees from the view platform that is why you have to arrive early before feeding time to enjoy this fun. If organize early, you can do keeper for the day or chimpanzee up close but you must have inoculation in advance.